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Hands-on: LG hopes for a spot on your wrist with the Urbane and Urbane LTE

Florence Ion | March 2, 2015
LG's shows a lot of design prowess when it comes to smartwatches—and the features aren't half bad either.

The Urbane LTE also has NFC built into the watchband for mobile payments, though you won't be able to swap the watchbands because of this feature.

To get the mobile payments feature running, LG swapped out Android Wear for its own custom version of webOS. The software utilizes a similar cards-like interface as LG's SmartTV UI, and it's packed with specialized fitness-centric apps developed by LG that can do things like measure your golf swing or map your hike with built-in GPS. Also, instead of Google Now, the Urbane LTE uses LG's own Q Voice.

watchurbane 8310
The Urbane LTE is webOS-based and uses a cards-like interface.

The Urbane LTE has three hardware buttons: one to bring up the interface, and two on either side that you can customize to your liking. There is a bit of a learning curve; the interface isn't like Android Wear. LG said that if Google's Android Wear does incorporate NFC payments in the future, it may then opt for the OS, but for now it's sticking to webOS to offer these features. Though it doesn't run Android Wear, the Urbane LTE will nonetheless only work with Android devices.

LG said it will release both of these watches in Korea before launching them globally. It also explained it wanted to announce them now so as not to "lose momentum in wearable devices," especially since it's rumored the Apple Watch may be launching soon.

 

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